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All Things Internet™ since 1999


Ciào Facebook

You aren’t reading this on Facebook because I don’t want to play the Facebook game anymore.

I used to think that Facebook was great for sharing stuff with friends. It is, sort of.

Mostly though, Facebook just shares stuff with a small set of people that it wants to show your stuff to. Similarly, Facebook only shows you stuff from a small set of people it wants you to see. In its quest to make certain that its feeds and timelines are relevant, Facebook scores relationships based on how often we like stuff, comment on it, poke it, view it, share it and so on. Then it sort of guesses who your friends are and shows you and them stuff based on how you interact with it.

On paper, this is a really good idea. In practice, it just means that if we don’t want to play the Facebook game of friend, like, poke, view, share and comment, then we don’t really see anything interesting. Our brains recognize these game mechanics at some level, making it incredibly easy to waste way too much time poking and sharing and commenting – the more we do it, the better the Facebook experience is. It takes hours to achieve and maintain a reasonable level of quality in what you read on your wall.

I’m opting out.

I love my friends and family but life is too short wasting it poking and commenting and liking – Facebooking – just so I can see your updates on my wall. I’ll still check in from time to time, but instead of spending all sorts of hours trying to get Facebook to show me your stuff on my wall, I’m just gonna read your wall directly. I’ve created a nice list of bookmarks of the walls for people that I want to keep up with and I’ll just browse through that when I want to get a friend fix.

And in the meantime, I’ll be hanging around here…

  • I don’t see it that way at all. I wonder why our experience is so much different? I rarely spend *any* time at all on Facebook these days. But when I do, I log in, see the updates, comment on a couple of things, smile at some photos my friends have taken and then log off. Total commitment per day: probably less than 10 minutes.

    Maybe it’s because I have a lot of friends (seriously, not meant to be a dig) who are good at taking photos, and sharing things. It makes MY experience when I log in to Facebook useful, and entertaining.

    Might be interesting to drill down into this and maybe do a random sampling of different kinds of accounts to see who experiences what. You know… when we have some spare time…. ;)

    • I think we’re probably having the same experience. Its all the stuff I’m missing from all the people that I really want to see stuff from that makes the investment completely worthless. For instance, I *never* see anything in my feed from my good friend Doug, despite the fact that we’re both pretty prolific. We also rarely interact with each other’s stuff (share, like, etc.) so as a result, Facebook doesn’t know that we’re good friends. Its just easier for me to check in on Doug’s wall from time to time and get caught up than it is to try and pretend that my Wall gives me a good view of what my friends are up to.

  • Anabel and Jeff

    Wow…we’ll miss your life in the bunker update, for sure!  Tell Amanda she is not allowed to say Adios… I need to get my regular ‘Rowan’ updates.
    Keep in touch Ross :)  Anabel and Jeff

    • Oh, I’ll still probably post things here and there – definitely pics and rowan updates. :-) We will definitely stay in touch.